bake

Spicy Baked Corn Dogs

When I was a kid, my Mom would occasionally fry up some corn dogs made completely from scratch.  Now that I'm a Mom I thought I'd do the same thing for my little one.  That being said, I'm not fond of frying since I manage to burn myself or ruin an article of clothing every time.  Plus baking is a far more healthy method of cooking.

Preheat oven to  425˚

2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1 cup flour, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 stick melted butter, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic, paprika, 1 package of 8 hot dogs, 16 popsicle sticks

In a shallow mixing bowl mix together Jiffy mix, flour, eggs milk and melted butter.  The batter will be sticky.  At this point I typically set aside about 1/2 cup to make 2 corn dogs for Ava, this recipe is too spicy for her little taste buds.  Add the cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic.  Mix until the spices are thoroughly blended into the batter.

Cut the corn dogs in half and stick the popsicle stick in half way.  They are much easier to work with half sized.

Spread the batter evenly over each dog.  Don't make them too thick, about a 1/2 inch thick will do nicely.  Try not to leave any of the dog exposed and seal the bottom by the stick.  This will keep the dogs from drying out while they bake.  Sprinkle with paprika and bake for 12 - 15 minutes on the middle rack.

Now you are ready to serve.  You can serve alone or with a dipping sauce of your choice (honey mustard?).  My neighbor, a major meat eater, eyed one cautiously before taking a bite.  On his way out the door, he grabbed a second for his 50 yard walk home.  Don't be discouraged if they crumble a little, the batter is very muffin-like.  You can cover the popsicle sticks with foil if you don't want them to brown.  I don't usually have that kind of time, and I have yet to start a fire... expect that one time at Thanksgiving... story for another time!

Love is a Choice, not a Feeling

Take a stroll with me into the life of a busy woman.

  • It's 6 A.M. The alarm clock goes off. Do you feel like getting out of bed?
  • It's 7:30 A.M. Do you feel like going to work in all that rush hour traffic?
  • It's 5 P.M. You've had a hard day at work. Do you feel like coming home and preparing a meal for your family?
  • It's 9 o'clock P.M. Your child says: "Mommy, I need you to bake 2 dozen cookies for the bake sale at school tomorrow." Do you feel like baking at 9 o'clock at night?

If you're like me, you answered "no" to each of those questions. I think we all agree that we have to do a lot of things we really don't feel like doing. There's one more "feeling" question that I'd like to ask you. It's plagued my mind lately.

Do you feel like loving that person that is so unlovable?

I confess that I find it easier to work from 9-5 and bake cookies late at night than to love someone that just rubs me the wrong way. You know the kind of person I'm talking about. They're loud, they talk too much, and they're sort of rude and down right obnoxious.

Recently, as I was pondering my feelings about how to love those kinds of people, I was brought back to an old hymn of the church that describes that fateful but victorious day in the life of Jesus. As you read these short verses, try to picture the scene in your mind as it's happening.

They bound the hands of Jesus in the Garden where He prayed.

They led Him through the streets in shame.

They spat upon the Savior so pure and free from sin.

They said, "Crucify Him, He's to blame."

Upon his precious head they placed a crown of thorns.

They laughed and said, "Behold the King!"

They struck Him and they cursed Him and mocked His holy name. All alone, He suffered everything.

Whey they nailed Him to the cross, His mother stood nearby as He said, "Woman, behold they son!"

He cried, "I thirst for water," but they gave Him none to drink. Then the sinful work of man was done.

To the howling mob He yielded; He did not for mercy cry. The cross of shame He took alone.

And when He cried, "It's finished," He gave Himself to die. Salvation's wondrous plan was done. He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set Him free. He could have called ten thousand angels, But He died alone, for you and me.

Aren't you glad that He said "NO" to his feelings that day and

didn't call angels to save Him. But He chose to love us just the way we are.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls

  I don't know about you, but this time of year is when I get the itch to bake! Expecially with ingredients like pumpkin! Here is a really simple recipe I found on Heidi's Recipes that you can make for your friends and family, or even better WITH your friends and family! (Don't forget to set aside a few of these decadent treats for yourself!)

Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls

1 Spice Cake Mix
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (low-fat or regular)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Combine dry cake mix and pumpkin puree.  Beat on medium speed until fully combined.  Mixture will be thick.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth surface.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is slightly browned.
  6. Cool cake completely.
  7. Crumble the cooled cake into a large mixing bowl.  Break up the cake with your hands or two forks until fine crumbs appear.  Add the softened cream cheese, mixing well with a large wooden spoon or your hands until mixture is fully combined.
  8. Roll cake and cream cheese mixture into small balls (about 1 Tablespoon per ball).  Set aside.
  9. Melt almond bark in double boiler or microwave.
  10. Using two forks, dip each ball into the melted almond bark and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Adorn with sprinkles.

Simply Strawberry Valentine Cupcakes

If you're looking for a "hit" at home, work or party, this recipe is it! People will beg for you to share your secret. The following recipe is a shortened version from Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn. Mix the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer and pour 1/3c. batter  into cupcake liner and bake for 20-25 min. @ 350.

  • 1 pkg. (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz) strawberry gelatin
  • 1 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries with juice, from 11/2c. whole berries
  • 3/4c. milk
  • 3/4c. vegetable oil
  • 4 large  eggs

Prepare Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ¾ cup fresh ripe strawberries, rinsed, capped, and mashed to make ½ cup, then drained well
  • ½ cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed
  • ½ cup of chopped pecans

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the sugar and drained strawberries.  Blend the frosting on low until the sugar has been incorporated.  Then raise the speed to medium and mix the frosting another minute or until the frosting lightens and is well combined.

Frost those pink babies and enjoy!!

January Cupcake: Vanilla - something old, something new

This past Christmas I officially became a woman. Now, I know I'm already twenty-something, but while I was in Portland visiting my family something monumental happened. My mom passed down my great-grandma's cookbook to me. It had been passed from my great-grandma to my grandma to my mom and now to me. "The Modern Cook Book" published in 1947 by Pearl V. Metzelthin has seen many kitchens, cross-country moves, and oil-stains. Thinking about what this new year will hold and my list of goals and aspirations I never want to forget where I came from or the simple things that make life beautiful. As life's pace get faster and faster I want to be careful to not become too busy to cook!

So bring out your mixing bowl and try this Vanilla Cupcake and Soft Vanilla Icing recipe from The Modern Cook Book:

Cupcake Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 2/3 cup milk 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Cream together butter and sugar; add well-beaten eggs. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add alternately with milk, a little at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Fill liners to 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cakes. Cool, frost (below), savor!

Icing Ingredients: 2 egg whites 1 cup confectioner's sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions: Beat egg whites stiff, adding sugar gradually while beating. When mixture is light and fluffy, add vanilla.

Looking forward to the day I get to pass this treasure on...but not until after I've tried all the recipes.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I would share one of my favorite side dishes.  This effortless recipe is the perfect compliment to any holiday meal.  Roasted garlic, warm heavy cream and buttery Yukon Gold potatoes are a few elements that help create this unforgettable dish.  Mashed potatoes are traditional fare for the holidays and this tasty side is a definite departure from the ordinary. INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 - 2/3 cup warm heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place garlic cloves on a small square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Wrap foil around garlic and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
  • If you prefer, peel the potatoes.
  • Quarter potatoes and cover with water in a large pot.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and return to hot pot and mash with masher or hand held mixer.
  • Mash in the roasted garlic. Mix in butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper.
  • Transfer mashed potatoes to an oven proof dish and sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until top is golden

These garlicky spuds will have your family and friends coming back for more!  Enjoy

Pretty in Pink Strawberry Cupcakes

In keeping breast cancer awareness in the forefront this month, the BEST strawberry cupcakes are a must. The following recipe is a shortened version from Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn. Mix the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer and pour 1/3c. batter  into cupcake liner and bake for 20-25 min. @ 350.

  • 1 pkg. (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz) strawberry gelatin
  • 1 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries with juice, from 11/2c. whole berries
  • 3/4c. milk
  • 3/4c. vegetable oil
  • 4 large  eggs

Prepare Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ¾ cup fresh ripe strawberries, rinsed, capped, and mashed to make ½ cup, then drained well
  • ½ cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed
  • ½ cup of chopped pecans

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the sugar and drained strawberries.  Blend the frosting on low until the sugar has been incorporated.  Then raise the speed to medium and mix the frosting another minute or until the frosting lightens and is well combined.

Frost those pink babies and enjoy!!

I thought it wold be interesting to find  out how many cookbooks have been created to fund cancer research. Here are a few links. There are great recipes and heart-warming back-stories connected to each.

http://www.bhg.com/bhg/store/product.jsp?catid=cat120006&prodid=prod3920005

http://3chiliesandabean.com/index.htm

http://www.breastfriends.ca